Search this article on Google: What are the legal provisions and course of action in India for addressing Design Infringement issues?
Design plays a significant role in today’s technology-driven era, creating a unique identity for various products and services. With the rise in creativity and innovation, the possibility of designs being copied or misused has also increased substantially. This makes understanding the legal provisions for addressing design infringement issues extremely crucial.
SimranLaw, a preeminent law firm based in Chandigarh, India, with years of experience and expertise in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) law, provides comprehensive guidance on how to navigate design infringement issues in India.
The primary legislation governing design rights and infringement in India is the Designs Act, 2000 (Act). This Act aims to protect new or original designs that are not previously published in any country and apply to any article or product.
Infringement is defined under Section 22 of the Act where any person, during the existence of copyright, applies a fraudulent or obvious imitation of the design to any article for the purpose of sale without the written consent of the registered proprietor, would be liable for design infringement.
Course of Action for Design Infringement:
Firstly, the existence of a legally valid design registration is crucial. If a design is registered under the Act, an aggrieved party can initiate a lawsuit to seek legal remedies such as damages and injunctions against the infringing party.
In the court proceedings, the burden of proving that the accused design is a fraudulent or obvious imitation lies with the claimant. For this purpose, comparisons are made between the accused design and originary design, not on separate parts, but on an overall basis.
1. Whirlpool Of India Ltd. vs Videocon Industries Ltd (2009): The Delhi High Court held that similarities should be judged from the viewpoint of a customer with somewhat vague recollection. The court also ruled that a product’s novelty cannot be restricted to a mere change in the arrangement of patterns and ornamentation.
2. Dabur India Ltd. vs Rajesh Kumar & Anr (2008): In this case, the Delhi High Court stated that if the ‘design’ or ‘shape’ becomes so common to trade that it loses its significance as a trade origin indicator, it cannot be protected by copyright.
3. Crocs Inc USA vs Liberty Shoes Ltd & Ors (2018): Significantly, in this case, the Delhi High Court held that the registration of a design can be cancelled if it has been previously published in India or another country.
In conclusion, design infringement in India is a serious concern that necessitates effective understanding and application of the Design Act, 2000. It is essential to consult an experienced law firm like SimranLaw to handle design infringement issues efficiently and effectively, ensuring maximum protection for your creative ingenuity.
Legal provisions and court precedents continually evolve over time. Therefore, this article provides only an overview of the topic as of its date of publication. Hence, professional advice should be taken for any direct implications on your specific situation. This will, however, provide you with a foundational understanding and make your consultations with legal experts more productive and insightful.